KAMIAH — The release of Kamiah Fire Rescue’s (KFR) 2022 Annual Report shows call volumes have nearly doubled since 2020. From 420 calls in 2020, 617 calls in 2021 and 801 calls in 2022, the demand for services continue to increase. KFR serves from the mountaintops to the river valley, spanning the Lewis County/Idaho County boundary. Their mission is to “provide protection of life, property and the environment from the effects of fire, medical emergencies and hazards.”
The report includes some interesting statistics, accomplishments, personnel, equipment, training, grants and community engagement. KFR Chief Bill Arsenault and the staff invite you to check out the report, which is available on their website www.kamiahfire.org. KFR frequently posts to their Kamiah Fire-Rescue page to share information on emergencies, events and community engagement.
A little more than half (54%) of all patients are transported from Lewis County, with the remainder split between Idaho (36%) and Clearwater (9%) counties. Approximately 1% are transported from other counties. Most of the Clearwater County patients are picked up at Clearwater Valley Hospital and transported to other hospitals (intrafacility transfer).
The biggest change for 2022 is the paramedic licensure Nov. 2021. Providing advanced life support and the ability to complete intrafacility patient transfers has increased the demand for their services, according to the report. Although aircraft are often used to transport patients from one facility to another, ground transport is used when weather conditions prevent flight or aircraft are unavailable. KFR has advanced cardiac care machines, ventilators, IV pumps and 45 different types of medication has greatly increased their capabilities.
KFR strives to respond to calls quickly, with a goal being out the door within 90 seconds in the daytime and two minutes at night. Data shown in the 2022 report indicate that the busiest months were January and July. Mondays and Tuesdays had the highest call volume and Sundays had the lowest. The busiest time of day for calls was 3-6 p.m., with 3-6 a.m. having the lowest volume.
“Every day is training day,” is the attitude adopted by the group. From weekly drill nights, community training such as Hands-Free CPR and Stop the Bleed, to specialized training like wildland fire, EMT and ice rescue training, KFR makes training a priority.
KFR received $150,000 in grant funds in 2022. This includes $23,000 for a power loader to assist in lifting a cot into the ambulance. Idaho Firefighter License Plate grant: $1000 for a training laptop and public education materials. Idaho EMSAVE Grant equipment: $23,000 for a power loader that assists in lifting the cot into the ambulance. An Idaho Workforce Development: $126,000 for the hiring of personnel and an ambulance laptop to complete EMS care reports while in motion.
Arsenault believes that 2023 will be a whirlwind of activity. He anticipates increasing cooperation with the 28 different Fire/EMS agencies in Idaho and Lewis counties. This will help to secure equipment and training funds.